Jordan takes delivery of eight more former Air Component F-16s

 

On Thursday March 19th 2009, the Royal Jordanian Air Force accepted eight single-seat Lockheed F-16AM Fighting Falcon fighter bombers previously operated by the Belgian Air Component but which had been declared surplus and put in storage for several years. Piloted by Jordanian crews and carrying their new markings, the eight aircraft left Kleine Brogel airbase in two waves  - six in morning (n° 144,147,148,149,150 and 152) and of two in the afternoon (n°141 and 146). They made stopover at the USAF base of Aviano, neat Venice, Italy, before joining their new home base of Shahid Muafaq Al-Salti, some one hundred kilometers east of the Jordanian capital Amman. These eight F-16AM, identified as MLU (modernized), are the last of a series of sixteen - 12 single-seaters and 4 two-seaters - bought under the terms of a sales-agreement signed on April 14, 2006 between Belgium and Jordan, and approved by the United States, for a total amount of some 70 million euros.

Jordanian Fighting Falcon

Jordanian pilot ready to start the ferry flight to his home base of Shahid Muafaq Al-Salti

Since September 10th 2008 eight aircraft were already delivered in two separate deliveries (see table below). The Belgian Minister of Defence, Mr. Pieter De Crem (CD&V), also announced his intention to sell nine other F-16 in Amman, in spite of critical reactions by several members of the Parliament who ask him to keep four or five more aircraft as attrition reserves in order to be able to maintain the level of operational aircraft put forward by the Belgian Defence. According to the minister a new deal with Jordan is possible because of the reduction from 72 to 60 operational aircraft envisaged by the Belgian Defence’s master plan of 2003. The new transaction would be worth some 32 million euros and delivery of the nine aircraft involved should take place in 2010. Minister De Crem has ensured that this new reduction of the fighter fleet would not affect the level of strength planned by the Air Component which currently is fixed at 48 combat aircraft. Jordan also expressed its interest for a possible acquisition from Belgium of a non-determined number of Agusta A109BA Hirundo helicopters several of which are declared surplus and are currently stored at the Zutendaal storage facilities.

Jordanian Fighting Falcons

Jordanian Fighting Falcons ready for departure at the Kleine Brogel appron.

 

Former Belgian Air Force Lockheed F-16AM/BM delivered to Jordan

 

 

 

Belgian Registration

Jordanian Registration

Delivery dates

F-16BM – twin seaters (4 aircraft)

FB-01

136

Delivered to Jordan on 27/11/2008

FB-02

137

Delivered to Jordan on 27/11/2008

FB-04

138

Delivered to Jordan on 10/09/2008

FB-08

139

Delivered to Jordan on 10/09/2008

F-16AM – single seaters (12 aircraft)

FA-58

140

Delivered to Jordan on 10/09/2008

FA-50

141

Delivered to Jordan on 19/03/2009

FA-61

142

Delivered to Jordan on 10/09/2008

FA-65

143

Delivered to Jordan on 27/11/2008

FA-66

144

Delivered to Jordan on 19/03/2009

FA-73

145

Delivered to Jordan on 27/11/2008

FA-74

146

Delivered to Jordan on 19/03/2009

FA-75

147

Delivered to Jordan on 19/03/2009

FA-76

148

Delivered to Jordan on 19/03/2009

FA-78

149

Delivered to Jordan on 19/03/2009

FA-88

150

Delivered to Jordan on 19/03/2009

FA-90

152

Delivered to Jordan on 19/03/2009

Royal Jordanian F-16AM "149"or former Belgian Air Force FA-78

Royal Jordanian F-16AM "149"or former Belgian Air Force FA-78 taking off with full afterburner.

 

Text and pictures by

© Vincent Pirard/AviaScribe (March 2009)

 

Last updated 28/12/11 13:50   Daniel Brackx

brackda@gmail.com